What’s with the rush? Why are we always in a hurry to go somewhere and do something?

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We live fast. Even if we don’t do much, we manage to be busy setting goals, adding new unnecessary items to our to-do lists, aiming higher, engaging in different activities and working all the time.

We end up having no time at all. And when we do, we don’t even know how to use it properly because we’ve forgotten what it is to just stop, breathe and enjoy.

The problem

There is always something to be done, someone to meet, an event to join, things to read and write and so on. We rush from one thing to another without taking a breath, without even thinking about it. The autopilot is on and the only emotions we remember lately are stress (from all the haste), anxiety (for the things left undone), disappointment (when something is done wrong or there is no time for it).

Here is how Benjamin Hoff describes it in his spectacular book “The Tao of Pooh”.

He refers to people who are always doing something as Busy Backson because throughout the book he uses simple examples to explain the principles of Taoism.
Below you can see how he described perfectly today’s average person.

The Bisy Backson is always going somewhere,
somewhere he hasn’t been. Anywhere but where he is.
The Bisy Backson is almost desperately active.

He works when he works, works when he exercises,
 and, more often than not, works when he plays.
 Work, work, work. All work and no play makes Backson a dull
boy. Kept up for long enough, it makes him dead, too.
He doesn’t go out for a walk, though; he doesn’t have time.

 The Bisy Backson has practically no time at all,
because he’s too busy wasting it by trying
to save it. And by trying to save every bit of it,
he ends up wasting the whole thing.

Of course, real progress involves growing and developing,
which involves changing inside, but that’s
something the inflexible Backson is unwilling to do.
The urge to grow and develop, present in all forms
of life, becomes perverted in the Bisy Backson’s
mind into a constant struggle to change everything
(the Bulldozer Backson) and everyone (the Bigoted
Backson) else but himself, and interfere with things
he has no business interfering with, including practically
every form of life on earth. 

The solution

Instead, we need to slow down. To eliminate the unnecessary from our life – the stress and worries, the tasks and activities that only waste our time. To learn how find simplicity in daily life and be mindful of what we’re doing at this moment.
Only this can help us enjoy life no matter what and thus make us happy and contented with it.

Taoism offers a simple yet powerful solution (again By B. Hoff):

Tao doesn’t force or interfere
with things, but lets them work in their own way,
to produce results naturally. Then whatever needs
to be done is done.

That doesn’t mean that the goals we have
don’t count. They do, mostly because they cause us
to go through the process, and it’s the process that
makes us wise, happy, or whatever. If we do things
in the wrong sort of way, it makes us miserable,
angry, confused, and things like that. The goal has
to be right for us, and it has to be beneficial, in
order to ensure a beneficial process. But aside from
that, it’s really the process that’s important. Enjoyment
of the process is the secret that erases the
myths of the Great Reward and Saving Time. Perhaps
this can help to explain the everyday significance
of the word Tao, the Way. 

What could we call that moment before we
begin to eat the honey? Some would call it anticipation,
but we think it’s more than that. We would
call it awareness. It’s when we become happy and
realize it, if only for an instant. By Enjoying the
Process, we can stretch that awareness out so that
it’s no longer only a moment, but covers the whole
thing. Then we can have a lot of fun. Just like Pooh.

So instead of rushing into the new day, we should embrace it slowly, with a smile and anticipation. Because time is on our side. We control it. And by enjoying the present moment we use it wisely. By being mindful of what we do, we do it better and find more pleasure.

Even the toughest task can become a moment of joy if we do it with the right attitude. Sometimes we need to accept things as they are, not try to change them. This will give us the peace and harmony we’re looking for and therefore will be contented.

Another thing that always helps is gratefulness. Being happy with what you have now, appreciation and realizing how more than enough it is, is one of the secrets to happiness and success.
Gratitude is so easy and yet so rare. If we all start being thankful and focus on what we have rather than what else we need, the less will become more, all the empty spaces will be filled and everything will be in place.

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

38 Comments

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  1. The author calls it process, I call it experience – ‘same difference’ as some quaintly say. As for your introduction to the quote: good perception; the futile pursuit of the rainbow!

    1. There’s actually not such a big need of defining how exactly it’s called, but rather to notice it and eventually experience it to the fullest.

  2. It’s really amazing to me how when we slow down and let go everything that needs to happen does…even if we don’t know we need it to. I havent been able to post on my blog, er allowed myself the time to make a post, because of what you describe here.

    I have to do this, or this or that, I havent posted on my blog in awhile..but what would you write about, no one reads it anyway, do homework, clean, do this….

    I’m going to give myself an hour this week to post..and write whatever fancies me in that hour because it is for me. Thank you. I’ve read every post and each one has kept me moving forward.

    1. Thank you so much for the great comment. I’m so happy you liked my post and it made you think.

      Eliminate all these negative thoughts. And actually, you don’t NEED to post often. Just do it whenever you feel like you have to say something.
      And when you let go of this desire to do things, you will actually start doing them… naturally 🙂

    1. I agree with you on that! The present moment is probably the only thing in this world we actually possess and have some kind of control over. And yet it’s the thing we take for granted and don’t make any use of.

  3. The line that really struck me was “Even the toughest task can become a moment of joy if we do it with the right attitude.” That seems to be frequently my modus operandi.

  4. I have a sweet tooth, so it spoke to me: “that moment before we begin to eat the honey” 😀
    The easiest way to practice gratitude is to start a gratitude journal. I started from 1-3 things I was thankful for at any specific day, and after 16 months I’m a bit disappointed when I jot down less than 20.

    1. I agree with you. It’s a simple yet powerful technique.
      Becoming grateful and starting to appreciate everything around me changed my view of life too.

  5. Great post, I completely agree. I think many of us subconsciously see themselves as tools to get as many tasks done as possible. That’s quite a destructing and time-wasting way of living.

  6. great post and a truely amazing blog! a friend of mine made me aware of taoism and the book, tao of pooh. although i have to admit that reading the book was kind of difficult, I think taoism is an amazing inspiration and life guidance. But the childness of the tao of pooh, is not everybody´s cup of tee, dont you think? Further, I wanted to just stop by to say how amazing I think your site is.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. So glad you like my blog.
      The Tao of Pooh, as every other book, can be understood differently by every person. But when it comes to taoism, things are really debatable. I can even say that every single person understands it in his own unique way. And there’s nothing bad with that.
      Such books make me think, like really think, and that’s why I love them.
      Just checked out your site.It’s amazing. You’ve got a big thing going on there. And the collection of books is great.

  7. I just recently finished reading the Toa of Pooh, which is an awesome book. Personally, I regularly practice slowing my pace when I walk, because one day I noticed I walk rather swiftly, even when I’m not going anywhere specific. Walking slower to the door paces my mind, not just my feet.

  8. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the best sites on the internet.

    I’m going to recommend this blog!

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